Take Out Tuesday Interview - Clyde's of Georgetown
Learn more about Clyde's of Georgetown by reading our questions and answers with the team below!
1. Tell us a little about the history of Clyde's
Longtime Georgetowner, Harvard graduate, and international businessman, Stuart Davidson
(1922-2001), opened Clyde’s of Georgetown on August 12, 1963, not long after restrictive
DC liquor laws had been repealed. The Kennedy administration had attracted an interesting group of people to the capital, and Mr. Davidson and his friends thought Washington lacked a convivial gathering place, a good saloon along the lines of P. J. Clarke’s in New York City. Georgetown University student and eventual partner John Laytham (1963-2019)
came to work at Clyde’s six months later.
The original two rooms, just inside the main entrance, had been the site of a loosely run
motorcycle hangout, the B & J (for Bernie and Joe) Restaurant. After one particularly big fight, in which someone was thrown through the front window, the B & J lease was not renewed. Rent
for the new Clyde’s was $123 per month. When the flamenco dance teacher next door went out
of business, Clyde’s leased the entire building for $500. In 1968, Clyde’s bought the building from landlord Tullius J. Frizzi.
In 1972, the Atrium Dining Room was added by enclosing a small outdoor patio. A year later, the former dance studio was transformed into the Omelette Room. The tradition of Sunday brunch at Clyde’s was launched!
Together, Stuart Davidson and John Laytham built one of the nation’s most innovative and
successful restaurant companies. In 1970, the partners added their 2nd restaurant to their portfolio. What started out as a trip to bid on a collection of antique beer steins at a tax auction for the oldest saloon in the city, Old Ebbitt Grill, resulted in Stuart and John becoming its new owners. Their business acumen was paired with just the right aesthetic sensibility that would transform the Old Ebbitt into the busiest saloon in DC and one of the top-grossing restaurants in the country. The company continued to grow. In 1975 Clyde’s expanded into Maryland, 1980 into Virginia, in 1985 they purchased 1789 Restaurant & The Tombs, and in 2011 entered the music world when they opened The Hamilton & The Hamilton Live. Today, Clyde’s Restaurant Group consists of 11 restaurants.
2. Who runs the day-to-day in Georgetown
Clyde’s of Georgetown is run by General Manager Bryan Trotter and Executive Chef Ryan Williams.
3. What is something residents might not know about Clyde's?
Here is a little Clyde’s trivia for you! The gold record displayed in the Atrium was earned by Starland Vocal Band for the group’s classic “Afternoon Delight.” The song was inspired by the appetizer menu of the same name at Clyde’s. The hit record reached the top of the pop chart in July 1976.
4. What does hospitality mean to you?
To me, hospitality means opening our doors and welcoming guests as if it were my own home- whether they are first-time guests or patrons of years. The friends we meet along the way and the moments we share together make every day rewarding.- Bryan Trotter
Please support Clyde's of Georgetown for Georgetown Take Out Tuesday. Takeout orders for food or beverage of $20 or more will receive a free bottle of Clyde’s label wine: choice of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Chardonnay. Note: To receive this special - orders must be placed over the phone (202-333-9180) for pick-up and customers must mention Georgetown Take Out Tuesday.
Clyde’s of Georgetown, 3236 M Street, NW, 202.333.9180